Saturday, March 26, 2005

Don't Worry 'Bout The Army, In The Cold, Cold Ground...

I have recently noted, via this site, that the Wilfred Owen Association has given its Award for Poetry to Harold Pinter.

This is noteworthy for two reasons. First, the sheer horror of it all. Second, of all the fact that Harry is good enough to provide a recent example from Mr Pinter's extensive poetry catalogue.

First, "American Football":

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

Second, and more recently, "Democracy".

There's no escape.
The big pricks are out.
They'll fuck everything in sight.
Watch your back.

In a spirit of shameless self-promotion, I would venture to point the reader to my recent attempt to approximate Mr Pinter's writing style:

Shit, arse, Zionist Nazis,
Imperial America,
Bullets, Death, Battenberg Cake,

I concluded this piece of whimsy by noting that, "I paraphrase". I now feel that I was being excessively coy and am startled by the searing white hot accuracy of it all, so I withdraw the qualifier.

Look, I can do Philip Larkin too:

They fuck you up your Mum and Dad,
They don't mean to, but they do,
I hope when I die they don't publish,
In a bumper anthology edition,
All that work of mine I specifically didn't want to be published,
And find all that porn in the cupboard,
And under the sink.

You see, I'm brilliant. But does Kirsty Wark want to interview me? Is Antonia Fraser lining up to polish my policeman's helmet? Oh, no...

Anyway, there's a serious point to be made here beyond the self-evident fact that this award cheapens the memory of Wilfred Owen and fails entirely to recognise the context in which his work must be placed in order to have any value beyond the artistic.

So in about half an hour or so I'll be posting up something I wrote last year on what we can and cannot learn from Wilfred Owen's work. It's not an A-grade piece, but I think it has some good things in it. So there.


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Semper Fi!

Bill Adams

4:56 PM  

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